3 min read

Food vs "Food"

The majority of the food I eat (and enjoy), I wouldn’t have considered 5 years ago. In that time, my diet has changed significantly. I attribute the majority of this change to living with my girlfriend, who expanded my horizons.

Without her, I never would have discovered the wonder of Aubergine. (Or maybe I would have, but we will never know).

My attitude to food in that time has changed significantly as well. This post is an attempt to clarify the thoughts that have been developing recently.

At university 7 years ago, my staple foods were Chicken Curry, Sausage Pasta, Chicken Fajitas and Peanut Butter. These were coincidentally the foods I knew how to cook. You could template every meal as either rice/pasta with sauce or potato based, meat and a vegetable.

The change between myself now and then has been the changing of this template. Now, a standard meal for me would be

  • Green Vegeatable (Cavalo Nero, Brocolli, Spinach, Salad)
  • Meat (Chicken, Sausage).

The potato staple of my diet has been replaced with green veg.

As well as the template of my diet, my attitude with food has also changed. Food has almost become two seperate ideas for me, which I try to compromise between.

Food

“The key ingredients of cooking. Building blocks of delicious meals. Something that can bring joy”

“Food”

“The nutrition needed to fuel the body. The ingredients in will directly affect performance, visuals and feel of my body”."

Every meal now can sometimes feel like a choice between the two types of food. “Food” for performance is growing in importance for me as I improve at Squash and Running. Having done a month of vegetarianism, and a month of Low Carb - High Fat, I’ve been to notice the real impact that food has on my mood and energy.

It seems that food can give me both short and long term happiness, but the foods types that give each don’t neccessarily intersect.

THis seems quite negative, but actually I have begun to enjoy what I consider “performance food” and at the same time have completely lost interest in other food. Icecream, Crisps, Sugary drinks all now are too sweet to enjoy. I think this was an unintentional benefit of my low-carb month. After avoiding sugary items for so long, my perception of sweetness seems to have increased.

My thoughts at the moment are how can I balance between the two? I love food, I love cooking. TO exclude whole classes of items from my diet and cooking repetoire seems excessive.

I like to think there is a compromise. Currently, I try to eat “clean” whilst away Monday - Wednesday nights. Now that I’ve established a pattern, this is simple to follow. Salad + Precooked Meat/Fish, then Greek Yoghurt/Cream + Fruit. I’m sure it can be optimised, but at the moment I think it works.

However, it’s a entirely different ball game Thursday - Sunday. My weakness is peanut butter, I love it. I’ll eat it by the spoonful. Whilst not unhealthy, eating multiple spoonfuls a day in addition to set meals seems to be excessive. It’s also hampering my weight loss goals. A strict resolution would be to stop buying it!

This has become far more than I was expecting to write. It’s suffered “scope creep” as well. But having wrote all of this, I’ve realised that the food I enjoy is shifting to become the food that’s also good for me. Regular exposure to it (and avoiding the bad stuff) seems to be shifting my taste. Maybe one day I will no longer enjoy a gooey brownie with lashings of cream and a side of peanut butter. Or maybe I’ll just have to save it for when I’m bulking.